Huw Edwards remains in hospital with „severe mental health problems” after he named the BBC presenter at the center of the allegations, his wife says.
His wife, Vicky Flint, said she was issuing a statement on his behalf after days of speculation „primarily for his mental health and to protect our children”.
The Sun claims he paid a young man for sexually explicit images.
The Met Police say Edwards, 61, will not face any police action.
The family statement said the news anchor wanted to answer the allegations privately while he was ill.
The statement read: „I am making this statement on behalf of my husband, Huw Edwards, after a very difficult five days for our family in light of the recent report regarding the 'BBC presenter’. I do it primarily for anxiety. For his mental well-being and to protect our children.
„Huh suffers from serious mental health issues. As is well documented, he has been receiving treatment for severe depression in recent years.
„The events of the past few days have made matters so much worse that he has suffered another serious episode and is now being treated in an inpatient hospital where he will remain for the foreseeable future.”
’Didn’t do anything wrong’
In a statement published by PA News, he said he hoped confirming Edwards’ identity would end speculation about the BBC anchors being unconnected to the allegations.
„He was first told of the charges against him last Thursday,” he said.
The statement requested privacy on behalf of their family, and said that it had been publicly documented that Edwards had previously experienced mental health issues.
Minutes before the family report was released, a separate update was issued by the Met, which has been assessing the allegations in recent days after discussions with BBC executives.
It said: „Detectives from the Met’s Specialist Crime Command have now completed their assessment and have determined that there is no information to suggest that a criminal offense has been committed.
„In reaching this conclusion, they spoke to the alleged complainant and the alleged complainant’s family through another police force, who had made a complaint to a number of parties, including the BBC.”
It said detectives were „aware of media reports of further allegations against the same person” but „no specific details or information about these allegations have been received. Therefore there is no police action at this time”.
The BBC said „fact-finding inquiries” into the allegations would continue. It was suspended at the request of the Met while it carried out its own investigations.
A spokesman for the corporation said: „We will now take that work forward, ensuring due process and a thorough assessment of the facts, while continuing to focus on our duty of care to all involved.”
In an email to staff, BBC director-general Tim Davey said „this remains a very complex situation”.
The family report „has been a reminder that private lives are being played out in public over the past few days,” he said, adding: „People and their families are at the center of this.
„After a challenging few days this will no doubt be a difficult time for many. I want to assure you that our immediate concern is our duty to all involved.”
Last night’s reports „acted like throwing cold water in the faces of all journalists,” said Craig Oliver, former boss of Huw Edwards at Ten O’Clock News.
„I think that’s one of the things that really came down to, is news has to slow down and let the processes happen, let the facts come out, and then report the story?” He told the BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme.
Former ITN chief executive Stewart Purvis also told the show that the story raised „huge issues for journalism”.
„Under what circumstances is it legal for a news organization to investigate and report on the private life of someone with a high public profile?” he asked.
Edwards has worked for the BBC since the mid-1980s, rising from a trainee position to become one of BBC News’ most recognized presenters.
As well as anchoring the Ten O’Clock News on television, he led major news events such as elections and the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The initial allegations, first reported on Friday, were that the presenter paid a teenager for revealing photos when she was 17 years old.
The paper’s source was the teenager’s mother and stepfather – but a letter released by a lawyer on behalf of the teenager described their account as „rubbish”.
South Wales Police previously said they had told the young man’s family there was no criminal wrongdoing after they approached the teenager’s family after they reported it to the BBC and before sending an account to the Sun.
In another statement on Wednesday, the force said it had recently carried out further investigations and found „no evidence of any criminal offences”.
In February 2021, the Sun ran another story claiming the presenter had defied Covid lockdown rules to meet a 23-year-old she met on a dating site and sent what they described as „extremely compelling” messages.
The newspaper also published an Instagram chat between the host and a 17-year-old boy, where the host sent messages including love heart emojis.
The BBC could not verify these reports.
A Sun spokesman said the newspaper had no plans to publish further allegations about Edwards and would cooperate with the BBC’s internal investigation process.
A statement said: „The allegations published by The Sun have always been very serious. More serious allegations have emerged over the past few days…
„The Sun will co-operate with the BBC’s internal investigation process. We will provide the BBC team with a confidential and redacted document containing the serious and wide-ranging allegations we have received, including some from BBC staff.”
The Sun report said that Edwards had not been charged in its original front-page story.
The newspaper reported that Edwards paid the man for the pictures when he was 17 years old – but it did not explain that such actions could be criminal. Children under the age of 18 are classified as children under the Sexual Images Act. This is higher than the age of sexual consent, which is 16.
In later versions of the story, the Sun changed the wording of the allegation to „the relationship between the two began when the teenager was 17”.
Although the allegations were made public and widely discussed, the media – including BBC News – initially took the decision not to name the presenter due to privacy concerns.
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